Some parents get to know developmental disabilities (DD) with the force of a tornado.
DD comes roaring in—deafening their dreams, snatching them up off their solid footing, and twisting their sense of conceivable. When they land they are no longer in a black-and-white world of norms. They know they are now in the Technicolor world they had only seen or read about.
Other parents are introduced to DD in relentless stages and elusive milestones.
Time after time what looks familiar at first becomes the unimaginable. Over and over they get a glimpse into the crystal ball. Again and again, the curtain pulls back, revealing another new normal. They are muddled, traveling simultaneously through dust bowls and poppy fields.
However parents come to DD, it is a similar place. They are confronted with wizards masquerading as medical experts, spewing jargon with detachment, and ordering tests on diagnosis witch hunts. They are affronted with stares from those enchanted by curiosity. They ride the horse of a different color.
Parents who have lived long in the world of DD can tell new arrivals: you will cry, you will laugh, you will find your footing again. Along way you will meet friends you might otherwise never have met. You will learn to throw water in the face of fear. You will encounter both flying monkeys and happy little bluebirds. And regardless of the obstacles, there is a beauty in the world of DD—whether it is black-and-white, Technicolor, or silver. It is not the end of the world, only the rainbow.